Sophia Smith and Mallory Pugh scored second half goals as the United States women’s team ended a three-match losing streak with a 2-1 friendly win over Germany in New Jersey on Sunday.
The Americans, still ranked the world’s number one women’s team, went into the game, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, knowing a defeat would be the first time that the four-times World Cup winner had lost four straight games.
Germany had beaten Vlatko Andonovski’s team 2-1 in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday after the Americans had lost in October friendlies against Spain and England.
Another defeat looked a possibility after Jule Brand put Germany, ranked third in the world, ahead in the 18th minute, turning the ball home from the centre of the box after the Americans had failed to clear their lines.
Germany lost its influential midfielder Lena Oberdorf to a shoulder injury in the 34th minute but the Americans still struggled to create chances.
The best opportunity of the opening half fell to Alex Morgan, making her 200th appearance for the national team, but the 33 year old screwed her shot wide.
The Americans went in at the break having failed to muster a single shot on target but it was a different story after the interval
After US keeper Alyssa Naeher pulled off a fine save to deny Lina Magull, the home side drew level in the 54th minute when Sophia Smith found space inside the box and fired home a right foot shot.
Two minutes later, the Americans had the lead when the German defence failed to deal with a long ball and Mallory Pugh kept her cool to burst into the area and slot home.
Morgan, Pugh and Rose Lavelle all had chances to add a third but having trailed the US were happy to end their 2022 campaign with a much-needed victory.
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